2. Los Angeles Lakers
If they wanted to put all of their eggs into one basket, no one is coming close to the Lakers offer, at least in terms of current NBA players.
The notion that LA was ever going to put Brandon Ingram on the table in a potential Kawhi deal is laughable. You don’t trade a guy with his talent for someone on the last year of their contract, no matter who it is. His ceiling is still an unknown. If in three years, he was doing what Giannis is doing right now, would it really be that shocking?
Then there’s Ball, who’s had more words written about him in the last year on sites like this than any player in the league, save maybe his new Ohio-born teammate. Again, we don’t know what he is, but we can be fairly certain things are going to get better. Kuzma and Hart are more known quantities and are the types of players who can play for any team in the league, albeit ones with very different skill sets.
The issue here is that unlike some of the other teams on this list, the Lakers don’t have a great draft asset stashed away in the cupboard. They could throw in a first, but it won’t be good, and any team trading with them would have to count largely on the NBA talent coming back in the deal as the main prize. It’s the reason they get bumped from the top spot by…